Written by Kamal Ali, Founder of My Salah Mat.
Its official, Alhamdulillah! My Salah Mat the world’s First Interactive Prayer Mat, has finally been granted a patent!
After 5 years of hard work, relentless appeal and counter-arguing, the Intellectual property office has recognised that we have a unique product that is novel and has never been invented before. We have been granted a PATENT. Alhamdulillah!
“A patent is a right granted for an invention that is new and useful.”
For a product designer like me, this is the ultimate success and it is also a huge personal milestone considering my past. Initially, I failed 2 out of 3 A-levels and I was ready to leave full-time education. If it wasn’t for the encouragement of my Mum and big brother Jamal I would have given up on university. My brother told me, “I had to work from a very young age to support the family, so my younger siblings would have the chance to get an education”.
I started a diploma in Art and Design, I got a distinction, I went on to a degree in Fashion Design, first-class Hons, I went on to a Masters in Product Design and then a PGCE.
Now with My Salah Mat I am able to say that I have achieved that which only a few have been able to achieve.
You will find screenshots of the back and forth with the IP Office, it's a lot, me and my patent attorney had to have some very late nights putting our arguments together.
I am truly grateful for someone who believed in the ideas as much as I did, we were not going to give up.
There were two times that I almost gave up as I felt like I was wasting time and money and giving up seemed like the easy way out. I don’t know where I found the determination to keep going but I knew that I had a new Invention and I was determined to prove this.
I wanted to call it a day when I received a 10-page document, from the patent agency. This was a very detailed and very thorough explanation of how my product was not a new invention. According to them, there were existing patents that were similar.
It felt like this 10-page document was designed to make me feel like I was stepping on professional toes. I told myself I would reply for the final time and surprisingly, this is when they finally accepted my patent!
I would like to take this opportunity to thank all the incredible mentors and teachers I have experienced in my educational journey who taught me everything I know.
Thank you, Charles and Gareth, my Diploma teachers! Thank you Sharon Rhys, Jane Davidson, Tracy Pritchard and Dr Stephen Thompson my BA Hons teachers.
Thank you, John Miles and Frances T. My Master's teachers. There are so many people to thank, but this is dedicated to my teachers as they deserve so much respect and appreciation for what they do!
If you believe in something then don’t back down. You have to keep going and don’t ever be intimidated by professional people or agencies to believe otherwise. Remember your convictions and make your argument until they open their eyes and see your vision.